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As the news post title says, I am no longer by the name Bahamut. Over the last 12 months I've been less and less attached to this name and have been moving onto other names, particularly with using my own real name for usernames on the internet. I know many will disagree with the change but it was my call as to what name to have (apart from Tom who I felt may have wanted me to keep the name but he didn't object).
My new username, it defines me as a person. That and I named myself after a heavy metal record that has a depth of burdening emotions. It feels what I am nowadays.
On a final note, many thanks to the staff for allowing my name change! I thought I may have been stuck with Bahamut forever but that is thankfully not the case!
Might as well have a new post here and I can't think of much I want to add here so... go ahead with any questions you may want to ask.
Man, it has been too fucking long. The last meet Newgrounds had in London was August 2011 and it does feel forever since last time, especially when a lot of things happen in real life and then you come back to meet the NG gang to see how everyone is as well as seeing some new faces. While nothing was originally planned for Thursday, I kept in touch with Luis to find out if anything was going on that day as I had booked to leave home in hoping there was a day 0 arrangement. Although not officially, we did meet in Camden Town and had our main meeting point at a cocktail bar or two. Our group did split in half as Luis was sorting shit out at where some were eating around the place while another tried out one bar which was packed. Another place SomaGuye led us to was not as busy and gave us seats as a result. We had Happy Hour offers and I tried some cocktails for a change when I usually wouldn't. Also had some different shots which Kirk-Cocaine dared me to have and I had without any fuss or problems. The group was small but a good turnout nonetheless with myself, Luis, SomaGuye, TheHappySheep, Megafones, Kirk-Cocaine, Bezman, Erasmus, UnknownFury and the never ending dancing guy who kept dancing to every song they played until out of random he just left the bar.
Friday night had a bigger gathering, although some of us were absent and pulled out last minute thanks to the blizzard throughout the country. This is where I was definitely grateful to have left home on Thursday as opposed to Friday. As usual, Friday at NG meet is karaoke night and although the requests from us seemed to have been quieter this time, I had the opportunity to sing FOUR songs this time which was more than enough for me. My top choice of song available was Deep Purple's Highway Star, then it turned to Genesis' Land of Confusion, Faith No More's Epic (myself as a white guy and rapping to this couldn't have turned out well :P) and Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train. Great song choices I felt but next time they need Metallica songs that are NOT named Enter Sandman.
This night gave myself the opportunity to meet those who I have not met before like SkeletonGimp, Vert, NegativeONE, DifferentWays and fellow forum mod Dry-Ice who was travelling back with me as far as Finsbury Park. I did have myself far too early to show up at White Swan & Cuckoo but with the weather being crazy and all, I wanted to be a little ahead on time and get there before the meeting time started. I found myself to be there too early, though as it wasn't until an hour someone (i.e. Wonchop) showed up. Even though the karaoke requests from our group seemed quiet this time, I still felt this was a fun night. Although, most of the group did disappear off to somewhere around 11PM while myself, Dry-Ice and DifferentWays were stranded at the pub. It was around then that we concluded the night anyway so that day 1 of the meet over.
Saturday started with the usual gathering outside the London Eye and immediately to Namco Station. Of course, it's the same as usual with chilling there but it's always a fun venue. I felt this time most were more laid back at the venue as opposed to venturing around the place for arcade, bowling or dodgems. Then again, bowling found itself off-limits in the basement due to private hiring so that was a bit of a bummer. That isn't to say we were all hanging around at the lounge areas all day (which I wouldn't question anyone for that) but it did take a bit until some of us decide to get into the swing of things at the arcade and play some games and obviously ram into each other at the dodgems. My antics with them were fun as usual and it was to one point where I ended up driving SIDEWAYS! o_O
Just like Friday night, Saturday also offered me both old and new faces which is highly appreciated. Meeting familiar faces such as James, BBM ,Ockeroid, Tom Kerin, Slim-Bean, Zictor and Eddache while meeting those I've not met before like ProjectCOG, CatFat, Kreid (man, you were so drunk here but at least you agreed to head back after a while), the VF brothers who I haven't met until then and a fair number of attendees that I either did not catch their names too well (sorry!!!) didn't give myself the proper time to introduce myself to. It's not easy keeping track on everyone but I feel despite the weather conditions we were up against, this was a really good turnout for the meet. Infact, after only meeting one or two new faces from the last Manchester meet, I wasn't sure how many new people I would introduce myself to at the London meet and my expectations were blown out of the water with this one. It's just a shame some of my closest NG brit friends had to pull out due to some circumstances whether it be the snow or anything else but I still expressed enthusiasm towards the event nonetheless.
Saturday evening's plans did take a different direction to what the hub page stated but since we all enjoyed ourselves at Namco Station, we didn't make a proper move until 9 in the evening and this sudden change of plan didn't find ourselves anywhere until Tom from Super Flash Bros got us all to Lyceum Tavern which didn't even serve a single drink that I was familiar with. It was all this Samuel Smith's brand everywhere at the bar. I still had one drink while I was there (mind you, despite this being the longest day of the meet out of the three I consumed the least amount of alcohol here) and that was all I was able to have before I made my move and concluded the meet attendance.
Once again I enjoyed myself at the Newgrounds meet and while same old popular venues are used for these, there's always a new twist somewhere on the way along with meeting new people that these events have remained fresh. It's hard to say when the next UK meet will occur and while I can respect Luis trying to step back from these, it's just not as easy to arrange something without him and I know this for a fact because I attempted it myself and failed miserably. Who knows, maybe something will be arranged for Summer but I'll try and not build any false hope. If there's nothing until next year for us then at least I can look forward to 2014 already. In any case, see you all again sometime in the future!
It's the moment I've finally been waiting for. 2012 is over at long last and good riddance. To me, 2012 was such a dull year so there was nothing more to look forward than a new beginning and to hope 2013 will do so much better. It's sad that 2012 was a disappointment since with it being the year of the dragon, I had some expectations. Events-wise have been slow at best and releases for music and games were lacking. It was to the point where I saw more films that came out this year than I played new video games. That isn't quite right but we'll get to that later on.
I've become a little superstitious about new year celebrations over the recent times, particularly last year's incident when communication with family members went down the drain. I figured that it was about time I made a change with new year celebrations and spend my time with any friends and the plan was agreed to hangout at a friend's flat and the night went out planned but did have a rough patch with one guy there who apart from the host none of my friends knew beforehand and because some of us were a bit wild for the night (which is to be expected for a new year party providing we don't cross the line), him as a 30 year old ex-bouncer felt he had the authority to tell people what to do and attempt to speak down to us, even though it wasn't his home. He didn't even give the host a say on the matter and he was all trying to speak on her behalf which clearly wasn't the case as we allowed her to express her feelings afterwards. We weren't going to take his shit and one of the friends stood up the most against him which to this event sadly led to him leaving the party for the night. Some of us were really close to losing our patience with him so it was a relief the dickhead left afterwards.
Despite having a small incident breaking out at the flat, we still enjoyed ourselves throughout the night. We were able to live through the night and we stayed up so late that myself and another one from the Wirral were able to get back home with the trains starting at 8 in the morning so I ended up returning home that way and managed to get a free train ride because not only the station from Liverpool told everyone to pay for the tickets at the station they're getting off at, the station I left on is less secure than Springwood Minimum Security Prison so no-one was there to question anyone.
So now that the year has made a start, what to look forward to events-wise isn't a whole lot just yet. There's the London meet in two weeks time but everything else, the year has a lot of blanks to fill in but it's certainly too soon to tell right now. At least this month is a nice start. Thankfully with metal music there's already new releases of Helloween, Voivod, Manilla Road and Stratovarius to get but again, it needs to pick up later on as all the momentum seems to be right at the start. Films already have a few things on the horizon, even though the one film I want to see the most is the second Hobbit film but that's all the way in December. Video games is the busier one right now with Metal Gear Rising, Tomb Raider, BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us so maybe, just maybe I'll actually do some day one purchases here.
All's left to have a thought on is new year's resolutions. Last year I said I would try and be more active with my metal review website but that became defunct half a year ago so that clearly failed. The other thing I wanted to do was get into Doctor Who which I have succeeded, although there's still tons of that to watch and only just since Christmas have I started with the Fourth Doctor so I better pick up the pace a bit. I'll admit that those are not real new year's resolutions so here are some genuine ones. First, I would like to take on more exercises since I will admit that I could do with being in better shape and I have been talking to a friend of mine about possibly going swimming on a weekly basis so hopefully that works out. The other thing is dependable but providing I don't need to get a new laptop within the next few months, I'd like to maintain a stricter budget on things. With myself being out of a job for so long now, my money isn't what it used to be so for each month, I'd like to see that money can be saved whilst still having a bit to spend on. A new laptop can still be considered but the funding process will be a very slow one.
So that's everything I have to say about 2013. While the new year party had a rough moment, it was still an enjoyable night with my friends. Things look to be a bit slow after January but I'll give things time as the year's still young. Hopefully this year works out better for others as well.
Christmas 2012, what can I say? After acting on quick to get presents for everyone but later on helped out others to sort out presents for the rest, I did feel this Christmas went smooth for me. I didn't run into any problems (well, apart from typically sneezing on this very day of all times) so I felt at ease. All I asked for this day was to be a good day to see others, nothing more or less. Well, there were still presents and all the surprises were good. I did get the majority of what I had listed on my wishlist to help out others with finding what I want for Christmas and I can safely say my family did a really good job so much appreciation to them for getting a lot that I wanted.
Now that we've all settled down after Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I only hope for a successful new year celebration. I was hoping by now there'd have been a solid plan on doing something with my friends but only 4 days away from the 31st and still nothing organised. At this point it'll be hopping onto somewhere the very last minute. Oh well, at least it's not much longer until this year is over and done with, although there are two birthday celebrations going on this weekend so there's as much madness being squeezed out as possible just before we reach 2013.
Hopefully everyone here has had a good holiday and enjoyed their break. While the last two years had me taking the Christmas holidays for granted after taking time off work then but this time for Christmas I'm unemployed. However, it's always worth looking forward to regardless of working situation just to have the best chance to see the family.
Agalloch - Ashes Against the Grain
Camel - The Snow Goose
Death - Spiritual Healing
Demon - Night of the Demon
Destruction - Spiritual Genocide
Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pandora's Pinata (another highlight for 2012 for sure)
DoomSword - My Name Will Live On
Falconer - Northwind
Finsterforst - ...zum Tode hin
Heathen - Victims of Deception
Jethro Tull - Songs from the Wood
Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses
Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
Doctor Who stuff:
DVDs of the serials Robot, The Ark in Space, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen and Silver Nemesis
The Dark Knight Rises
Gamma Ray - Land of the Free
Red London Jets (Only wanted this because Dave Lister from Red Dwarf wears it in the earlier episodes :D)
Cactuar plush (you have no idea how long I've wanted one and had it until now)
Clothes (just some essential things for me like fleeces and more jeans as well as some slippers)
£20 HMV voucher
In a typical year I usually dread November. Main reasons for that is not only is it the start of Christmas shopping so ideas to think of what to get others is in need of priority, it's also a time when I typically get sick going all the way back to being a kid in school. I've not found myself sick this month at all and when I do start sneezing a bit, I've found myself to be vigilant and take some tablets before a cold completely takes over my body so that seems to have done the trick. At this point I should have caught a cold three times this month but my luck has been better this time. As for Christmas shopping, it actually feels like a breeze this year. The most that needs to be done is possibly getting a few more CDs for my dad as stocking filler as well as helping anyone in the family with online orders. I can feel at ease.
It's not just the above paragraph that has made November better than what I expected. The month has been very eventful throughout and considering how dull the rest of 2012 has been, this at least makes things up for an overall crappy year. The first thing on mind was the two live shows on the first week; the first being Motörhead with Anthrax and the second being Angel Witch. Both were amazing shows and I'm glad to have seen Anthrax live, especially when they're with another great band like Motörhead. Although I saw Motörhead two years back, it was at least worth it the second time not just for Anthrax's appearance but also to hear them live again. I'll admit, I was ALMOST disappointed with the setlist but then came Orgasmatron and that just made the night for me. Additional points for this show for myself grabbing a bass pick from Anthrax which the band threw at the audience and I only had my hand open unintentionally convenient for it to land on. I felt something hit on my hand and I appreciated the souvenir from Anthrax! No fighting was needed to get it!
As for Angel Witch's show which was just two days after, it was another amazing show. It was awesome starting from the very first band Age of Taurus, a new doom metal band on the horizon. Debut album is to be released next year but already the stuff they played was LOUD (which is what I like a lot about doom metal at a live show) and provide some good doom metal songs. Certainly a day one purchase for them. Second band on stage is Enforcer from Sweden who are no doubt damn good at playing metal with a retro sense. Most of their music is very fast so you can imagine the energy the crowd were able to unleash as well as the band. While these guys might look like a Maiden knockoff at first, the more you enjoy them the less you will think that so metal fans who like the vanilla kind of metal should definitely check them out if they haven't already. Angel Witch themselves on stage just played all the songs I remembered on top of my head and made me appreciate them even more. Had it not been for a friend of mine who's really enthusiastic about this band, I'd have probably skipped this show so I'm glad I didn't miss out. So three kickass bands on stage and obtaining yet another souvenir (my friend swiped the setlist paper at the end of the show), this is definitely a good contender for best live show I've been to.
Beyond going to live shows, I had some fun parties this month. One was for a friend's party who held the celebration at her flat which I feel is massive for a student flat. You know you enjoyed yourself when everyone had fun to drink while one got so drunk he passed out and threw up just two hours after the party started. The incident was so funny that me and a few friends had to make jokes about the drunken one until 7 in the morning. The other party was just a chilling sit out while my friend's parents were away for the weekend. Another late night fun and my friend's dogs hardly left me alone. As you may or may not know, I'm not the most fond of dogs but the two dogs he has were actually really good with me. I also suspected that I may suffer with allergies with them but I wasn't even sneezing when they were around. It was great for them to settle down when I was just relaxing in the living room. Both of these parties were in Liverpool so it was a matter of crashing in for both of them but at least it was worth it. Usually I wouldn't try sleeping at someone's place as I don't get much comfort with sleeping at night but I at least managed.
The last big thing I was up to was attending a furry meet in Manchester... Yeah, that's a strange direction to take but nothing was going on that weekend and some of my friends are part of that fandom so I thought I may as well have some more adventure this month. It wasn't easy to settle in as apart from my friends, I didn't even know anyone there so I was a bit out of place. It's not like a Newgrounds meet where if you're part of the core community you'll at least know some people who attend one meet but here I'm not part of any furry communities so I had no clue who anyone there were. Ah well, better than staying at home.
So that was the action-packed month of November. Easily the best month I've had all year and December already has me see The War of the Worlds live this Saturday and making some rare appearances at some old places for old times' sake. I'm looking forward to Christmas this year but I better make sure the odds and ends are sorted out soon and I am also doing what I can to find somewhere to celebrate new year that is NOT with my family. I'm better off celebrating the new year with any of my friends as opposed to risking any disasters with the family like last time...
Over the last two months, I've found myself well occupied with Doctor Who which I finally started getting into just then. I've had Doctor Who on my to-do list for a very long time now, going all the way back in 2007 when I visited one of the museums in Manchester as part of a college trip and they had a mini-tour showing various things about the modern series as well as having many models inside. One thing I will never forget there is the Dalek voice modulator inside a full-size model of a Dalek. One of my Computing teachers back then was (surely still is) a big fan of Doctor Who but when the day of the trip arrived, he was ill and couldn't go in the end so we all thought it would be amusing to tease him by giving him a message from the Dalek who spoke "It's a lot better because you're not here."
Those were fun times but one could ask despite having this opportunity, why have I taken so long to get into Doctor Who? I've been reluctant to watch most TV due to how much I felt it was in a bad state but when it came to considering watching the show more and more, I felt to only watch it when I was willing to dedicate a lot of time to watching through the series. A few months back I was watching an awful lot of The Simpsons to the point where I stepped into Mike Scully era so I knew by then I had to stop and with more motivation to watch TV shows, this was the best opportunity to try out Doctor Who once and for all starting with the start of the revival series. And before you continue, there are some SPOILERS around so if you're even slower than me, don't read any further.
With that I started with the first episode from the modern series. With a show like Doctor Who, I was willing to give the show more chances than I would give anything else because I knew there had to be something from the show that I would enjoy if everyone else was liking it so while I was expecting a somewhat slow start, I was given the complete opposite with an action-packed episode that takes you through some insane yet imaginative scenarios. As silly as a monster attack of mannequins from the Autons might sound, you wouldn't really see such out of this world ideas from anywhere else and this show is not afraid to venture into the non-ordinary, even though not every storyline from the show is magnificent. Hell, the second episode showing the end of the world as a first trip for Rose Tyler makes Philip J. Fry's initial visit to the moon look like a child's playtime at the local park.
I suppose with almost any other show out there (barring Father Ted which to me ended at the right time and went through its run without a single weak episode), there will be rotten apples and with Doctor Who, the worst I've experienced is Love & Monsters for the asinine idea of a stranger taking over a group of fanatics of The Doctor and the group members not suspecting a damn thing when certain individuals go missing and all they hear is a shoddy reason from said stranger. The ending for that episode needed to be killed with fire.
The rest I've hated from the modern series is the 2008-10 specials. I really don't understand the point of The Next Doctor since if the "Doctor" in that episode wasn't an actual one, then what was the meaning of watching through that special? I could understand if this was a lead-up to the Eleventh Doctor but it wasn't. While Planet of the Dead and The Waters of Mars were at least better and more memorable specials, they still could have been 45 minute episodes as opposed to an hour so they felt a bit stretched there. However, the worst for padding, overdrawn and what not is The End of Time which had such an unnecessarily long farewell which the purpose of the episode Journey's End was supposed to be the ultimate send-off for all the companions starting from the revival series. Talk about redundancy...
I don't want to be all negative about the show but there have been those unpleasant bumps in the road. While there are other weaker episodes like the Daleks in Manhattan two-parter, those have not been as terrible as the aforementioned specials and Love & Monsters and generally just shrugged off. I'm just glad the show changed gears for the Eleventh Doctor and the direction it's taken since the fifth season of the modern series makes it feel like a reboot of the show. This would actually have been a good starting point for anyone who's looking to get into Doctor Who except for the fact that I feel the episode to kick off the Eleventh Doctor can be tough to digest for new viewers. Starting with the adventures of the Ninth Doctor is a much smoother and better way to get into Doctor Who, I reckon. Yes, there's still the classic series for me to watch but just so you're not intimidated by going through over 30 seasons worth of a TV show, it's best breaking down and starting from a major point to the show as that.
I really could go on all day about this but I just want to say I'm loving Doctor Who a lot in the most justifiable way possible. For what's been a dull year for me, finally dedicating the time to watch some Doctor Who has been the best thing I did in 2012. Now I have something to watch on TV on Saturdays when applicable and for Christmas, I can easily clutter my wishlist with Doctor Who toys. A Dalek plushie would be nice to have and I feel a TARDIS figurine should be located somewhere on my shelves.